Alpha Consumer

October 2007


How to Avoid a Death Trap

By |

When Steven Kopp went home to Orlando to visit his parents earlier this year, they took him to see what will one day be their final resting place. They explained to him how they chose the simple spot in a cemetery near their home.

Such openness about death is rare, as Kopp well knows. The business ...

Read More

TAGS:
money

House-Hunting While Self-Employed

By |

Dear Alpha Consumer,

I'm self-employed, and I've read that it is very difficult for self-employed people to get a mortgage without putting down 20 percent of the home's purchase price. I've tried calling lenders to find out whether this is true. They all say to call them back after I've been working ...

Read More

TAGS:
mortgages
credit

How to Plan an Affordable Funeral

By |

Funerals, like weddings, are expensive affairs usually planned by people with very little experience. After all, with funerals at least, it's a once-in-a-lifetime event. Many people are unaware of their rights guaranteed by federal law, such as the right to receive price information from funeral ...

Read More

TAGS:
funerals
shopping

How to Dodge Fees When Buying a Home

By |

Dear Alpha Consumer,

I recently purchased a home. I obtained a mortgage broker through LendingTree. Its ads state, "No surprises at closing." But I was met with several major surprises, including extra closing costs, a higher interest rate, and a spike in the private mortgage insurance of about 100 ...

Read More

TAGS:
mortgages
credit

How to Avoid Getting Audited by the IRS

By |

The Internal Revenue Service relaunched its program of random audits this month in an effort to hone its ability to estimate compliance rates and crack down on tax fraud. Unlike its usual audits, which are more targeted and so not representative of all taxpayers, the program will randomly select ...

Read More

TAGS:
IRS
taxes

Staying Safe While Shopping Online

By |

Dear Alpha Consumer,

Is it safe to shop online?

For the most part, shopping online is as safe as shopping at your local mall. As long as you know what to look out for, there's no reason to battle traffic or long lines when you can just as easily order what you want while lying on your sofa.

There are,

Read More

TAGS:
credit cards
shopping

How to Repay Family Debt

By |

Dear Alpha Consumer,

To make a long story short, I borrowed $30,000 from my mom. I signed a legal agreement to pay the money back to her. I built a house leveraging the money and now have good renters in it. My mom died. We each received about $20,000 from her estate. That leaves $10,000, or $2,000 ...

Read More

TAGS:
debt
money